Lando Norris will be entering the fourth year of his F1 career in 2022. Over the years, Norris has positioned himself as a top-level driver with the potential to someday fight for race wins and a world championship title, given a car that could take him there. In his three years at McLaren, the Briton has matured in his driving style and taken his team to the next level. He essentially carried the team on his shoulders in the first half of the 2021 season and led their battle for P3 in the constructors' title against legendary F1 team Scuderia Ferrari.
In 2021, Norris broke a record to become the only McLaren driver in the history of the sport to have fifteen consecutive point finishes, demonstrating phenomenal consistency and talent. The pair of Norris and former team-mate Carlos Sainz breathed much-needed life into McLaren when they joined the team back in 2019. The Briton is now certainly expected to be the one to take the team back to its championship-winning days.
3 times Lando Norris proved he can be in contention for a championship
#1 2020 Austrian Grand Prix
Lando Norris clinched his maiden podium finish at the 2020 Austrian GP after a sensational drive in the 71-lap race at the Red Bull Ring. It was a weekend of many firsts for the Briton, who also qualified for a career-best fourth on Saturday.
Norris had an intense race fight at the front with the likes of experienced drivers such as Sergio Perez. Having spent the majority of the race in fifth position, Norris got an opportunity to take his first third-place finish. The opportunity presented itself as Lewis Hamilton was given a five-second penalty for causing a collision with Alex Albon in the earlier laps.
In the final push, the 22-year-old extracted all the pace possible to set the fastest lap. In doing so, he flew past the checkered flag in fourth position, 4.8 seconds behind Hamilton. This promoted him to third and gave Norris a much-anticipated maiden podium finish.
#2 2021 Austrian Grand Prix
For the first time since the 2012 Brazilian GP, Lando Norris gave McLaren a front row start, which also happened to be the first of the Briton's F1 career. While Max Verstappen visibly dominated, Norris managed to qualify ahead of Red Bull's Sergio Perez, as well as both Mercedes'.
The 22-year-old pushed the limits throughout the weekend and demonstrated an unmatched pace. Norris was determined to take his maiden pole position and missed out by a mere four hundredths of a second.
Despite losing out on pole, Norris took the boost of confidence and momentum into race day and delivered a phenomenal drive. While he would have liked to retain his place and take second, a five-second penalty for forcing Sergio Perez off the track lost him that chance.
The McLaren driver came in third to take his fourth career podium after finishing behind Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen. Norris received praise from seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and was even voted Driver of the Day for the sensational weekend in Austria.
#3 2021 Russian Grand Prix
The Russian Grand Prix might have turned out to be possibly one of the most devastating events in Lando Norris' F1 career. It also, however, happened to be the weekend that truly proved his talent in the paddock.
The McLaren driver took his maiden pole position in Sochi after an exceptional qualifying session on Saturday and started the race ahead of former team-mate Carlos Sainz. The Briton led the majority of the race and was absolutely flying, until one unfortunate call cost him his entire race.
As the weather conditions worsened with the rain, most drivers decided to pit for inters. Lando Norris, however, decided to stay out to retain his lead — a decision which proved to be his undoing. He heartbreakingly watched his maiden race win slip right through his fingers after completely losing grip on the car and sliding off the track on lap 51 of the race.
He eventually finished the race in seventh after losing out on significant positions. The Briton, however, was once again voted Driver of the Day for his phenomenal defense against Hamilton.